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Old 11-11-2013, 09:05 AM   #121
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Shock absorbers?

I hope it's okay to revive this thread; I have a question about the new 5.0 which I believe has not been previously addressed...

The new 5.0 will have tandem beam axles and leaf springs. One of the advantages of rubber-sprung suspension over leaf springs is better damping, and the way to address that is with shock absorbers. Shocks are readily available for leaf-sprung beam axles, but are best installed at the factory.

Will the new 5.0 have shocks, either as standard equipment or optional?
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:50 AM   #122
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Probably best to talk to Escape, if you are interested in the new 5.0, as Reace will know best. I imagine they would have shocks. It would be pretty bouncy otherwise.
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:15 AM   #123
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According to: Flexiride Rubber Torsion Axles shocks are not necessary due to the rubber's natural vibrations absorbing capabilities.
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:24 AM   #124
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Neal, is that what they are going to use in the 5.0? Like Brian, I thought I had heard a reference to leaf springs. Maybe a post Reace made?
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:29 AM   #125
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Post#1 mentions tandem spring axles due to variety of truck heights and easily adjustable.
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:42 AM   #126
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Thanks for that Jim. I knew I heard it somewhere, just never bothered to look.
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Old 11-11-2013, 04:12 PM   #127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nealmccarter View Post
According to: Flexiride Rubber Torsion Axles shocks are not necessary due to the rubber's natural vibrations absorbing capabilities.
Approximately right - actually, shocks are sometimes used with rubber sprung axles (especially outside of North America) but are just not as badly needed as with steel leaf springs. As the others have explained the new 5.0 will use leaf-spring axles... that's why I asked. With the change from rubber springs to steel springs, shocks would be appropriate, but I have not seen any mention (one way or the other) of plans for them.

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Probably best to talk to Escape, if you are interested in the new 5.0, as Reace will know best.
Yes, the information should come from Escape, but Reace can respond here (he started this thread), and any member who might have already received this information from Escape could pass it on. I expect those people might be following this thread.

It is not urgent for me, but those who are already in the production schedule might want to ask about this before options need to be finalized, if the answer has not appeared by then.

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I imagine they would have shocks. It would be pretty bouncy otherwise.
Cargo and utility trailers with leaf springs typically do not have shocks. Premium travel trailers do typically have them, but many (my guess is the majority) do not. Yes, with shocks the ride is better controlled and smoother, both of which are felt both inside the trailer (by your valued stuff) and in the tow vehicle.
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Old 11-11-2013, 05:19 PM   #128
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I believe Airstreams use both torsion and shocks on their units.
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Old 11-11-2013, 05:52 PM   #129
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I believe Airstreams use both torsion and shocks on their units.
Yes, and they have consistently done so for decades. They are the one significant volume example of shocks with rubber "torsion" axles in North America, although that combination is routinely available in Europe. Airsteam has Dexter Torflex suspension arms custom-modified for them to accommodate the shocks.
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Old 11-11-2013, 05:53 PM   #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
It is not urgent for me, but those who are already in the production schedule might want to ask about this before options need to be finalized, if the answer has not appeared by then.
My bet is that most people could care less about this, and trust that whatever Escape does will be fine. I know I never once concerned myself with any frame, shell, suspension, or tire thoughts. I just made sure I got most of the options I wanted, if possible.

We can over evaluate things, which only leads to unwarranted concerns, and stress.
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Old 11-11-2013, 06:12 PM   #131
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My bet is that most people could care less about this, and trust that whatever Escape does will be fine.
I think a lot of people choose a product based on experience with the brand, and the expectation that the product will follow that brand's typical practice. As this is the first leaf-spring Escape, there's a lack of typical practice for reference. I expect that what Escape does will be appropriate; I don't know what that will be.

It is also early enough in the new 5.0 production that the inclusion of shocks may still be to be determined; Reace may appreciate hearing the thoughts of potential owners... those who have an opinion.

I agree that most people will not have an opinion, just as many wouldn't have had an opinion about many of the other aspects of the design discussed in this thread, such as the tandem axles (instead of single).

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I know I never once concerned myself with any frame, shell, suspension, or tire thoughts. I just made sure I got most of the options I wanted, if possible.
Many discussions in this forum are about the frame, how the shell is insulated or even constructed, what the load ratings of the suspensions are, and what size of tires are supplied and what size fits (especially the tires). Not everyone cares about those things, but surely they are legitimate topics of discussion for those who are interested, right?

Also, if shocks are an option wouldn't they be as valid a topic of discussion as any other option? Why ignore shocks but choose the size of the battery and the level of insulation? You don't choose the size of the battery or the insulation in your car... you trust the manufacturer.

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We can over evaluate things, which only leads to unwarranted concerns, and stress.
I'm not sure what this forum is for, if it is too stressful to think. We should all just buy the stock version, right?
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Old 11-11-2013, 06:21 PM   #132
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We can over evaluate things, which only leads to unwarranted concerns, and stress.
...to unwarranted concerns, and stress for Reace to deal with. I think he would be relieved to get a large batch of "stock version" orders!
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Old 11-11-2013, 06:51 PM   #133
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I expect that they mostly do get stock version orders with very little change. But at an Escape rally, people can see quite a few versions that make Escapes of greater interest. It isn't necessarily "seen one, seen them all" as with other fiberglass trailers presently being made.
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Old 11-11-2013, 06:58 PM   #134
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...to unwarranted concerns, and stress for Reace to deal with. I think he would be relieved to get a large batch of "stock version" orders!
Yeah, it sure would be easier. This customizing is something I have chatted with him about before, as it is not a lot different from what I do for a living, custom renovations. People like to be given some options, as it makes it feel more unique to them, something they were part of the design on. I think allowing some options is a good part of their success.

It would be great if I could just do cookie cutter renos, and not give customers choices, but I would not get much business.
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Old 11-11-2013, 07:24 PM   #135
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Just for the record, I was not suggesting any kind of customization. My question - which I am surprised to find seems to have been unwelcome - was simply about the base and optional configuration of stock equipment for the new 5.0 model.
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Old 11-11-2013, 07:32 PM   #136
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Brian,
I'm sure your perspective is certainly welcome, nothing should be voiced to hamper the freedom of expressing your opinion,
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:13 PM   #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
My bet is that most people could care less about this, and trust that whatever Escape does will be fine. I know I never once concerned myself with any frame, shell, suspension, or tire thoughts. I just made sure I got most of the options I wanted, if possible.

We can over evaluate things, which only leads to unwarranted concerns, and stress.
Wise words Jim.

Towed vehicle type = fifth wheel. Dramatically different mechanical design vs conventional towed trailers for static and dynamic considerations for the body on frame vehicle.

I don't know of an Airstream version. Most/all fifth wheel units I've see (except the current escape) are tandem/triple axles c/w leaf springs (no shocks).

Designing a close coupled independently sprung tandem axle for optimal dynamic behavior is probably beyond the scope of our little forum and that's a good thing in the opinion of this mechanical engineer
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Old 11-11-2013, 11:37 PM   #138
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Towed vehicle type = fifth wheel. Dramatically different mechanical design vs conventional towed trailers for static and dynamic considerations for the body on frame vehicle.
A fifth-wheel trailer is still a trailer, with a pin-and-plate style hitch mounted roughly over the towing truck's axle. Now that these hitches articulate in all axes, the hitch is irrelevant to towing characteristics; indeed, many people convert them to ball hitches and the Escape 5.0's closest competition (the Scamp 19') comes from factory with coupler for a ball - the same style and even size (2") as used on their other trailers. The location of the hitch is more stable than the "tag" or "bumper pull" position, leading to more stable towing... but that's irrelevant to the suspension. The tow vehicle can typically handle much more hitch weight over the axle than behind it, allowing a higher hitch weight proportion and again typically greater stability, but that can be done with any trailer if the tug can handle the hitch weight... and again it is irrelevant to the trailer suspension.

Since it is just a trailer, the mechanical design - which means the suspension hubs/bearings and brakes because those and the coupler are the only mechanical components of the vehicle - are typical trailer parts, in the Escape 5.0 just as in any other brand. The original 5.0 uses the same axle as every other Escape (Dexter's Torflex #10). If one includes frame structure in mechanical design then yes, the tongue is obviously a different shape... still not relevant to the suspension.

When the trailer goes over a bump, the suspension doesn't know or care what's holding up the front end of the trailer.

Yes, the Escape 5.0 is a body-on-frame vehicle, and so are almost all recreational trailers including all of the other Escape models. I must have missed something: how is this relevant to the use of shocks?

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I don't know of an Airstream version.
I don't know of any fifth-wheel Airstream, either, nor can I see how that is relevant to the Escape 5.0.

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Originally Posted by Burloak View Post
Most/all fifth wheel units I've see (except the current escape) are tandem/triple axles c/w leaf springs (no shocks).
Yes, most 5th wheel RVs are tandems, because their axle weight is in the range for which tandems are conventionally used... just like the larger current Escapes, and just like non-5th-wheel trailers of the same weight. There have been smaller models by various manufacturers (including the current Escape 5.0) which are in the single-axle weight range, and so use a single axle. It has become common for the very heavy "toybox" 5th wheels (35 to 42 feet long and up to 10 tons loaded) to use three axles to handle their weight... and the biggest non-5th-wheel toyboxes are triples as well. Just like most non-5th-wheel trailers, most of these units use leaf springs and beam axles.

It is particularly popular to use "equalized" leaf spring suspensions in tandem and triple sets, because systems like the Torflex don't distribute load between themselves. Perhaps that's one reason for Reace to choose them for the new 5.0, but the load-sharing issue is the same whether or not the trailer is a 5th wheel.

My 34' conventional (stick-built) 5th wheel has tandem beam axles on leaf springs... and shocks. The shocks (which appear to be the common Dexter items) were stock equipment, as is common on better trailers, even if you haven't noticed this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Burloak View Post
Designing a close coupled independently sprung tandem axle for optimal dynamic behavior is probably beyond the scope of our little forum and that's a good thing in the opinion of this mechanical engineer
I assume that the 5.0 will used an equalized set of leaf suspensions, not independent of each other, but regardless I'm not suggesting that we jointly design anything. Indeed...
the question was simply whether or not the new 5.0 would have shocks, as are commonly found on premium RV trailers with leaf springs - why is that so offensive to some of you?
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:07 AM   #139
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Hi: All... WHOA!!! This is getting quite "Shocking". I don't think it was Reace's intention to re invent the wheel. Only to build a newer, more adjustable 5.0. I'm certain he has thought of some form of damping for the new axles, and will use whatever his supplier suggests is appropriate!!! Alf
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:08 AM   #140
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In my professional opinion the damping requirements of a particular suspension system design has everything to do with its design characteristics and expected loading and very little to do with whatever "premium" means in trailer marketing.

Fifth wheels have lower sprung weight vs a conventional trailer of the same mass. That in turn lowers the spring rates required to carry the remaining towed mass. Close coupled axles don't react simultaneously but rather in sequence and symbiotically to road input. We don't anything about the designers assumptions regarding input amplitude and frequency. I've said before that if you only travel smooth roads you don't even need the springs.

I'm sure if the chassis engineer determines the suspension system needs shocks it will get them, if it doesn't it won't be changing my mind regarding the quality of the escape product.
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